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PACER: Researching Federal Court Case Dockets and Documents


1) PACER is a U.S. Administrative Office of the Courts database.

2) PACER is an online federal court case docket system.

3) Anyone may subscribe to PACER (registration is required).

4) The PACER website provides detailed cost and billing information.

(The State of Oregon counterpart (not to be confused with the U.S. District of Oregon, which is a federal court) is called OJIN, which is available at County Courthouses.)

Do you need PACER to locate the information you are seeking?

1) Many federal court decisions are available free on the Internet, without PACER. Pleadings and briefs may also be available free, without having to log on to PACER.

2) PACER is not a database like Lexis or Westlaw where one searches for information about legal topics and concepts. PACER is an electronic docketing system.

3) If you need access to your federal case’s docket, please use the services at the federal courthouse where court clerks can answer your questions.

4) FREE access to PACER is available at federal courthouses.

There are unofficial online services that purport to be the equivalent to PACER, but they, especially the free ones, may not contain all documents that have been filed in a federal court case. If you use a database other than PACER, please read the disclaimers carefully.


We cannot respond to most legal research questions.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for research purposes only. We do not provide legal advice, nor do we endorse any person, product, or company.

Disclaimer: It is against state law for library staff members to engage in any conduct that might constitute the unauthorized practice of law (ORS 9.160, 9.166 and 9.21). They may not interpret statutes, cases or regulations, perform legal research, recommend or assist in the preparation of forms, or advise patrons regarding their legal rights. They may, however, assist patrons in locating materials or links that would aid in individual research.

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